Friday, November 30, 2007

and for the grande finale....

...i pass it off to a guest blogger! well, my poor i wasn't attached to my laptop enough in the evenings, here came NoBloPoMo sucking me in even deeper.

so many evenings: "hey, are we going to watch a movie tonight...or are you clicking?"

me, typing like a mad woman: "no, no, i'll have this wrapped up by 9:30 so we can pop something in...."

9:56 approaches. Blake: "alright screw it, we'll skip the movie and hold out for seinfeld at 10:30."

me: "oh, thanks! i'm almost done--so close, i swear..."

will i continue to blog daily? no. no way. will i blog more? i think so, yes. i think i have found that it's not just the birthday parties and road trips that deserve a blog entry. just a funny story, or profound thought, or even a great meal can have it's place. the more varied the better.

the last week, as my husband has geared up to start working full-time again after over a year of semi-retirement, he has joked that he needs a blog. this is the man who i have taken painstaking efforts to teach the ins-and-outs of basic email to these past few years. he is a brilliant businessman and pioneer in his industry, yet really in his own words he is "merely a simple jungle boy."

here is what he calls his first wanna-be-blog, sent out to family and friends to update them on our current status--and, like everything B writes when he is feeling that rare inspiration, it's got a lot of heart and balls. he gave me permission to use it here. without further ado.....

First wanna-be B-blog--"Same Boat": Message for the new year

After 18 months at home with the family, and working no more than two days a month for that time, I am about to embark on the next five years: Today I sign the Nomad II lease in PDX. By the time I renew it, Nomad will be 20 years old! Feb 14th, 2002 is 15 years! My vision is to take it yet higher; to a "ho-nubba- lebbah" as they would say on Mad TV. I will be focusing on custom jewelry and fabrication; made while each client enjoys the Nomad Museum's cultural ambience. Icing to that cake is that I have met with and received preliminary approval from the Portland Art Museum's head curator regarding a special exhibit of jewelry in 2008. I could not have envisioned such a scenario; Mr. Guenther was extremely receptive to my vision, warm, intelligent, and himself pierced and tattooed, though it was not visible. He loved my book. Good things will happen there. A nice feather in the cap of the "new" piercing studio in town, even though we're the oldest shop in the industry. The frequency of at-home appointments has increased...a lot of PDX peeps have commuted to Bend for 10 years.....their dedication will be rewarded with a shorter commute....I have heard many times from people how much shorter the drive will be; this mornings double industrial ear project drove from Salem and was glad not to have to do the pass and the extra six hours. Mayan is old enough to accompany me whenever she likes (or momma needs)....she's a big helper....with our new baby half way there, the urgency to provide for my family is reaffirmed. We are in a transitional time; one where we will go from over a million dollars in debt to nearly zero. Our family has made sacrifices to get through this tough time, one where we have been living hand to mouth for a while, and momma has put the "clothes-shopping" breaks on, though she does need pregancy cuteness, I know. Full circle, both Dad, Payson and Chemynne have made contributions and loans for the new Nomad as they all did for my San Francisco studio in 1993, when the tribal vision was born. Also contributing is my best friend and manager Rick, who is the age I was when I started this company; He's got another 15 good years in him as well as a wife and three girls to support. Nomad in Bend will be moving to new digs for the next five years as well with Rick, my #1 at the helm. We are in constant contact, though he is in the gamma quadrant and I am in the alpha. Everything is a Star Trek metaphor for Rick and me...2008 is my 20 years in "the business" mark, and I feel a second wind has happened. The base of operations for the Perlingieri family is on the kitchen counter a vast expanse of bills and checkbooks and stamps and calculators....not a random pile, it enables me to coordinate complicated plans and financial juggling for two stores and three houses, much to Leah's chagrin.

This is my future Portland location below...been a lot of grownup
stuff with all of this lease negotiating....being my own landlord is now in the past, though we will reap the benefits of Bend land ownership as many of you have. The two Nomad's will spend over a quarter-million dollars in rent alone over the next five years, but it must be done These ultraphat piercing studio/museums will be pimp as fuck and will be seen on the website early 2008. much work remains to be done.My abilities as a body artist obligate me psychically and spiritually to continue to service the tribe, adorn their bodies and spread cultural consciousness. This feeling has never been stronger. It has endured for two decades now. Most of you have read my book. Most of you I have adorned is some fashion. We have shared a special bond.

The old Oxygen Tattoo space...Nomad Bend's new home open January
first, 2008.


Above, my beautiful and soon to be bigger family; my reason for all of the goings on and all of the diatribe. Hey I've had a year and a half off already. I am truly blessed. I must end on a political note for the precise reason of family. As most of know, the condition of our planet and the immediate economic survival of many americans is declining. The trillions of dollars in deficit/debt being left by the powers that be, to my children (your children), and the air they breathe. concerns me greatly....I listen to a lot of NPR, and PBS and as one who voted against Bush in 2000; voting for the first time in my life. The outcome of 2008 is quite important. Eight years more of what we've just done would surely drive me out of this country. The time is now. We are on the edge. I have studied the three candidates carefully, as I am not a vote-waster doing the Dean or Brown vote of conscience. It is prudent to pick the best person who can win as a democrat, if real change is to occur. It must be clear to all thinking people as it is to me, that that person is John Edwards. Now is not the time to get a woman or a black man in the white house for the sake of it. Both are too polarized as potential firsts and distract from the real issues this country faces, and both are without the inclusive and compassionate vision of Edwards. Additionally, his unique life experiences qualify him. Those who know me know that I judge a person by the content of their character, as I have been unfairly judged for 20 years based on appearance alone. Utube his interview on Charlie Rose from 11-29-2007. No question will remain for those undecided who the best person for the job of running this country is after viewing that interview. Though many of you are jaded and feel all politicians are corrupt, there have been Lincoln's and FDR's and Kennedy's among the bastards. John Edwards is in the Kennedy club and could do much for the future that will be here all too soon. Compassionate, visionary, inclusive, moderate, yet liberal, yet having an appeal to conservative democrats; even liberal republicans. He is a man of the people. His words, especially now, have moved me. The race for our future is on. Our children, our species, depend on the best possible outcome, and given the choices, he is mine.

We must move as families towards sustainability and deconstructing
the outdated models where we can. A garden. Biofuel. Green concepts in life and business. Get the fuck out of debt and own less. Recycle more. Don't be a Hippiecrite. Eco is more than a Mother Earth sticker on a gasoline powered car bought on credit. Fucking live it; do it! Those of us with resources must take the first steps. Sign up for wind or hydro generated power, get rid of the goddamn gasoline powered vehicle, even if it's all you have now; even if it's convenient, even if you take a loss. It's not the answer, just a step in the right direction, given the choices. Every little bit helps. Every family's shrinking carbon print assists the planet. We all play a small part in the big picture. There are always alternatives. Donate to the NRDC, PBS, the Sierra Club. Support local. Handcrafted. Organic. Sustainable. Recycle. Often, old cars and homes are better than new ones. 40 years ago a home was made from wood, not off- gassing toxic glue. In all of the random and infinite probabilities of life and it's potential in this vast universe, our scenario is quite unique. Our little blue ball, finite. Our need to work together as a species, as humans, has reached it's perihelion. Though I know most of you are not ignorant enough to just "have faith", and know that's a cop-out, it must be said: God is just a feeble figment born of the human fear of being alone...he cannot save us from our transgressions. Only man can own man's shit. In fact, Nietzsche says of "Mankind and life are that which must be overcome again and again". This is it! It's all we have. If you have no faith in your self, then ask this: Would a compassionate creator allow such unspeakable atrocities as these? Would he allow us to rape and shit upon the mother earth; each other, for so long? Perhapse it is really in our hands. Perhapse acting upon what is real in this life is all that will save our species, just in case this is it!

Good luck to all of you, friends and family, surviving, adapting,
procreating, unlearning, spreading consciousness, and living in the here and now. We're all in the same boat. We must all be the example.

Poppa Nomad

Thursday, November 29, 2007

our tribe's newest addition

Athena Anne was born just about three months ago to Blake's sister Chemynne and her husband Michael. we found out she was pregnant just about the same time we put an offer in on this house in Portland--at that time we lived 6 blocks away from each other and i don't think anyone (including her!) thought that they'd decide to have a child. but they were so excited and joyful about it, so we were as well...but also very sad that we would not be there to be more of a support. chemynne is a very talented and busy business-owner, running a graphic design studio with a sustainable focus. on top of that she also throws monthly drum and bass shows, bringing some very big d'n'b names to humble but bursting bend, oregon. while there were questions how a baby would fit into this mix, her confidence that it would work out was very contagious.

i was invited to be at the birth, an honor that i graciously accepted. what was extra refreshing was that she was already (without any coaxing from me--lol) preparing for a homebirth with midwives--an experience i am much more prepared for and familiar with in terms of my own community. a laboring mother surrounded by women and her partner at home is a birth i can stand behind with no fear and i knew C would handle it beautifully. which she did of course, and her michael where a spectacular team during the whole process.

i have not posted about the birth yet as it was very very intense. it was not the simple, uncomplicated birth i had so wished for her--or for me for that matter. i was 9 weeks pregnant with this baby when she went into labor and have my own complicated "unsuccessful homebirths" under my belt. in many ways i hoping to experience through her what i was hoping to experience for myself--silly, huh? but in the end, after 24 hours at home, she ended up in the same hospital i did, a few rooms down from where i birthed my own babies. but there was one room she visited that i did not--the operating room. turns out the baby's head was resting on a tangerine sized fibroid right near the opening of her cervix, preventing full dilation. while i think the majority of c-section are preventable, this one was a no brainer--it was the only way. i think the outcome emotionally affected me more than it did her--she feels that she really go to experience both sides of the coin, which i can appreciate.

athena is adorable. like, beyond cute (but she'd have to be right to keep up with this fine looking bunch, right?:) mama and papa are working it out just like they suspected--either that or they are just too in love with her to care. don't blame them there, the deep love of your newborn is powerful and transformative, mountains moved if necessary.

i have not seen her since a week after the birth. baby's cheeks have filled out with breast milk, mother and father have seemingly settled into their roles, mastering the art comforting their fussy babe, and generally in new parent-bliss (sleepless as it is.) but c and m took athena on her first road trip, to SF for thanksgiving to meet Athena's namesake, Michaels 98-year-old grandmother. they met up with George and G (Grand-P and Cookie) then they came all the way up I-5 to see us! not only was it exciting to see them but they had never seen our super dope house. all in all it was an awesome 22 hours visit. but i miss them terribly--see why??:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


so get ready folks...a little preview of what you've missed before the camera got lost--and some current goodies to boot:

Mayan takes a music class on Tuesdays--her assignment was to design a percussion instrument. this is her Doomagotti:

poor papa--this is the pile of bills that constantly shuffles along the counter. bills get paid on the right, and new ones move in from the left. we split the counter half and half--no food gets on his bills and no bills encroach on my food.

i think mayan took this. it's a little crouching pharoah with Dorothy slippers.

Dia de los Muertos--our alter

after dinner we shared our favorite stories of the people we have know that have passed away. then we got silly for a family shot.

it's baby Nermie! not many things cuter than a kitten in a paper bag sitting in a ray of sunshine...

mayan getting deep into her body art

i was so excited that i found the camera that as soon as i charged the battery, i started snapping away! here is blake getting busted eating my chicken salad leftovers

here is isadore sleeping

and here is mayan NOT sleeping

aaaaand.....drumroll, please..................

belly pic #1 (19 1/2 weeks)

belly pic #2

belly pic #3

today is my 120th day since conception. the Sikh's believe that this is the day that the soul enters the child, and it truly becomes a person. i am not a Sikh but i think it is really cool to have one special day that honors the change a women has mid-pregnancy--out of the woods as far as miscarriage, belly now swelling and obvious to the world, baby is moving and feels more *real*...somehow our culture tends to really "miss it" in terms of celebrating the deeper, meaningful experiences. the change may not happen in one day but subtle, significant changes are happening and i have been trying to honor that more than ever this time around.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

the countdown continues

i guess i am still going for it, even though i lost that one day *sigh*. four more days of NoBloPoMo.

my food diary has gone out the window but i am still eating the same--maybe slacking on the between meal snacks but that is b/c i can go longer without getting hungry and nauseous. a weeks worth of diary is pretty darn good. if a midwife requests one, it's usually 3 to 7 days of record anyway, so i'm good. next appointment on Dec 6th. always look forward to those. we are going to try hearing the heartbeat with the fetoscope this time.

other boobs are huge. (haha, no pun intended, of course.) but they were already huge, you say. well they got bigger, just this last few weeks, i reply while showing my milky white, heaving cleavage. nothing new there. i like v-necks. no one can make me cover-up my chest. crew necks on women with large breasts make them look even bigger and disproportioned, or as they say on What Not to Wear, "like they are growing from your neck." big no-no. so my cleavage shall be there for all to enjoy, but mostly it's for me. and my man. and my babies.

wow, i get to nurse a baby again. i get a faint tingling let down sensation just thinking about it. my breasts are breastfeeding breasts. i believe that 99% of women can actually successfully breastfeed (given the appropriate support, of course) and overcome most bfing obstacles like flat or inverted nipples, or milk supply issues. but i have never had an ounce of a problem. my nipples stand out a good 1/2 inch, so much so they called me Nip in high school. that was fun.

when i had isadore, Mayan was 2 and still "hitting the sauce" so my nips were in prime form-- perky and with little to no sensation. sweet isadore didn't not get to try latching on until her 10th day out of the womb, and as i "prepped the dairy bar" the nurse took one look at my nipples and said "i bet a horse could nurse on those." it was the weirdest compliment i have ever gotten. then they kicked my milk out of the nicu fridge, because i was hogging too much room. i probably could have fed all the babies in that room for a week with all of the milk i ended up throwing out. such a shame.

betcha didn't know this post would be all about boobies. yeah, me neither. maybe i should i should change the title....nah. that might attract the wrong kind of attention.

Monday, November 26, 2007

remember those soy saga

they fucked me up.

as most of you know (and either know WAY too much or hear it WAY too often), i am allergic to soy in all forms. this makes anything processed or packaged a potential danger. apparently the canned sauce was to blame, although the ingredient label "passed" that doesn't always mean it's okay. it couldn't have been anything else--everything else that day was either a whole food or a tested and trusted product.

everyone asks "what does it do to you?" well. that is always an awkward question. let's put it this way: it inflicts ALL of the holes in my body EXCEPT for my mouth, ears and nose with pain and itching. broken tissue, burning, swelling...did i mention pain and itching? it totally sucks. this is why i avoid soy like the plague. it's not like "oh, it's cool, i'll just have a little bit..." or "oh, i'll just eat it and put up with a headache or gas..." it's more like "if it might have soy, NO THANK YOU!"

the symptoms began as general evening itching when Mayan was one-year-old. i had discovered around 5 months that she was highly intolerant to dairy, and as a breastfeeding mom, i dutifully cut it out of my diet--and of course replaced it with all of those new fangled soy-based dairy-free but dairy-like products. it took me forever to figure out what was causing it as i did not suspect food allergies at all. it just seemed like a constant annoyance--i dealt more with easing the symptoms than the cause for almost two years. by the time i has isadore it had become worse, and there were "flare-ups" that now involved skin issues. i spent so much time searching out Mayan's food allergies (she has a long list) and it FINALLY clicked that this was a food problem when one night we had guest and we ordered some Pizza Mondo--my fave b/c they had a great melty soy cheese...and i had my worse reaction ever. i knew then it was either wheat or soy. since Mayan is gluten-intolerant, i figured it was a good shot it was that, and i cut it out for a few weeks with no real dramatic change. so i got back on wheat and cut the soy. i did have less reactions and felt somewhat better but not "cured"--that is when i started to learn more about where soy hides....not just tofu or condiments and fried foods (soybean oil) but also lecithin which is found in chocolate, all cooking spray and most commercial bread products. those all had to go, too...but still i had a mild nagging itch that lurked on me felt like i was most of the way there, but i was missing something.

then i found it. where i didn't think to look: my prenatal vitamins. the fucking vitamins i had been taking for years as a pregnant and nursing mom had soy lecithin (probably as an emulsifier.) i immediately hucked them and began my first few days of a complete soy-free life.

everything cleared up. there was no question. i felt so much relief and power that i had made this discovery on my own about my own health and body. the challenge proved to be avoiding it--very hard to do especially when eating out which i LOVE to do. i took to calling restaurants before hand and talking to a member of the kitchen staff, quizzing them about what kind of oil they use, ingredient details, cooking practices.....then hopefully find a dish that was "safe." this was much easier than just going somewhere and asking the server questions--they are busy and have less knowledge of the food, and also potentially irritating for the others at the dinner table to sit through my zillion questions and a server going back and forth between me and the kitchen before putting in our order, and myself who inevitably gets asked "so what happens when you eat soy....?"

if i slipped and ate something accidentally containing soy, the reaction was dramatic. sometimes it was painful to even walk the first night, let alone go to the bathroom (ooooooooooh my god, many tears shed the next day) or be intimate with my husband. if i itched, dark red lines would spread down my legs and the urge to itch more would be unbearable--obviously an allergic reaction. it would finally fade off by three days. i tried to stick to salves (usually containing calendula) and nettle tea (an herb with natural anti-histamine properties) but in the worse cases neosporin or topical numbing agent for my skin, vicodin for the pain if i was lucky enough to have it, and benadryl for the itching. not a fan of being on so many drugs while breastfeeding.

i began searching soy in the internet and found some interesting findings. soy contains isoflavones which have been shown to interact with human estrogen receptors. I read a study showing that phytoestrogens are linked to mice and reproductive problems, and also rats and uterine growth.......

my brain: reproductive babies were thought to have intrauterine growth restriction...stopped growing at a certain allergy...hmmmmm...all of my symptoms are near that area..and they came about after i began having children and eating soy......

then i read about the concerns of soy formula. oh shit. i was given soy formula as an infant when it was discovered that i was allergic to milk. i mulled and mulled. and i could not shake the feeling that there had to be some connection--whether it was a big connection or small connection i didn't know but it's all too curious. i was afraid i might be laughed though, but i began with my midwife. she was intrigued and encouraged me to research further. she's in hte past few years, relayed storied to me of more and more women clients she gets with issues with soy. my gyn also agreed it was worth pursuing but also that this research is so new and that it might be a long time before there are more conclusive answers. a handful of health professionals have scoffed at my theory and interestingly enough they seem to be the ones who have for decades encouraged vegetarian diets and the health benefits of soy. finding the Weston A. Price foundation was a gift to me--they are very active in voicing the potential harm of soy products, especially soy formula. i felt like someone had my back.

now that i have been soy-free for over two years, it have become an expert at avoiding it--but that doesn't mean i don't slip up. one reason is that for the last 8 months or so i've been so good at avoiding it, i think i've fully "detoxed" and now when i do slip the reactions are much milder. in fact, quite bearable. so i have been more relaxed when eating out, or will go ahead and use a ketchup packet (i have found most condiments can set off a reaction even if they don't directly contain soy b/c of the way they are manufactured.) maybe i'll itch a little for a day but not the full blown drama i once had. that was until the enchiladas. wow. right back to the peak of the allergy. if i wasn't pregnant, i would have tried to get my hands on a vicodin. this could be for a few reasons:

1) i had had a mild reaction on tuesday from some jalapenos (probably canned with soy oil) on my meal at La Calaca and that pushed my threshold.

2) i am more sensitive right now b/c of the pregnancy.

3) i have just been too lazy and pushing the envelope on my soy exposure.

it's hard to say but now i am being diligent again. i mean this will be my first soy-free pregnancy, and in a weird way i feel like it's kind of like an experiment. will it make a difference? i don't know. but i have to try, not just to avoid the unpleasantness of the symptoms but to honor what unseen affects it could be having on my body and possibly my baby. most importantly, my gut says i should. and there is no trumping that.

oh. my. god.

i forgot to blog yesterday. completely spaced it. in my defense, my sister and law and her husband and their SUPER cute newborn is visiting. so yeah, its Athenas's fault for being so dang cute and scrambling my brain.

i, of course, considered posting and manipulating the date, but i don't play like that. i never break the rules when it's for fun (but frequently if it involves authority.)

off to sit in the corner in shame.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

taking my enchiladas to a whole nuthu' level

today i declare left-over turkey day: either make it into something or it will be fed to the dog tomorrow.

my greatest enchiladas yet (half inspired by how my mom made them when i was younger and half by my dinner at La Calaca on Monday):

saute up a yellow onion, until soft, then huck it in a bowl

added a few cups a chopped up turkey and some sliced black olives.

stir in some sour cream and salt and pepper and mix well.

take a pile of warm corn tortilla (i like ezekiel's sprouted corn) and take turns soaking them in a wide bowl of enchilada sauce (hell no, i don't make that myself...yet. use canned of a trustworthy brand) and filling a few spoonfuls of the turkey mixture into the middle of each one. roll them up and tuck them nicely into a pan (9x13 pyrex works well for a nice sized batch). pour the remaining sauce over the tightly packed enchiladas.

top with grated cheese (i used organic valley raw mild cheddar) and crumbled queso fresco.

(this is where i screwed up--i wanted to have roasted sweet potatoes on top so i topped with diced sweet pots hoping that they would roast long enough but Noooooooo, they turned out too hard when the rest of the dish was clearly done. to remedy this next time i would probably toss the diced sweet potatoes and even yellow potatoes in some oil and roast in a glass pan covered with foil at a high heat--like 425 degrees--while i assembled the enchiladas. then take them out and use as the final layer on the main dish and cook according to the rest of the directions)

cover with foil and place in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes, removing the foil for the last 10-15 so cheese can melt.

remove and let cool for a few minutes. dish up a hearty portion and top with shredded green cabbage and sour cream. i served it with refried pinto beans and avocado, too. add a little salsa verde, if you like.

Friday, November 23, 2007

three anniversaries...AND twice in one week!!

...takahashi that is. George and Gigi sent us a check for our anniversary, so we figured sushi was a totally worthy item to blow it on, yes?

Blake and I have THREE anniversaries technically. We were married on Oct. 5th, 2001 in Mexico, a wedding for *us*--not legal but very official to us. The ceremony was led by Blake's dear friend Father Daniel Jansen at the base of the temple Kukulkan in Chichen Itza--very is our favorite one to celebrate.

Then we found out that Father Dan could not marry us at our *real* wedding (the white dress, rings, and food wedding) due to knee surgery so we asked Blake's father (a judge) to stand in--but he could not legally wed us in Oregon, so two days before the wedding, Nov. 21st, we hit the courthouse to sign some papers. The judge that officiated that happened to be the father of the guy who my best friend went to prom with. I lived in Bend for way too long.....

So 11-23 has always been a "psychic" number for Blake (loosely based on a Star Trek thing, i believe.....) and as his lady, i naturally adopted it. It ended up being the day after thanksgiving that year, so rehearsal dinner WAS thanksgiving dinner although we opted out and rented the fireside room at Scanlon's to fed us all. This year, the date also fell the day after Thanksgiving, and I had the foresight to order some prints yesterday, for pick-up today. Of the pictures that Amy took, I had not shown B the ones of just the two of us--so I got my favorite and also the family pic of us behind the red art sculpture. (see below)

On my way to get a frame for them at Michael's, i had a quick change of heart and decided to go our neighborhood framing place (very sweet cool people) and see what it would cost. yes, it would cost a lot more but the pictures are so nice, and i expect that he would like to put them up at what the hell. they put them on a temporary mat for me to take home and present to him, and i will return it tomorrow to get in line for framing--probably two weeks until it's ready. but it's gonna be sweeeeeeeeet! then i can RE-gift it to him when the shop opens! double sweeeeeeet!!


Thursday, November 22, 2007

gravy day

new wave of hormones today...blake was somehow feeling them too. but in a good way. we spent our day loving, hugging, smiling, and peacefully cooking together while the children played quietly and creatively (like making funny faces out of vegetable peelings and scraps)--blake and i usually get annoyed with each other when we share kitchen space, but something was in the air today....

music played a big part in our day--blake DJ'ed while i made requests. we started off with the new Akron Family--a love themed album and by far their most listener-friendly. Akron has a tendancy to get a little out-there with their non-instrumental sounds, but have, after a few albums, honed their desire for alternative sounds and seamlessly blended it with their folky beats and harmonious voices. The title track (actually called Don't be Afraid, You're Already Dead) Love is Simple is so tasty and beautiful--complimented with a song called Love, Love, Love that is very Beatle-esque (think All You Need is Love...). We had to replay it during our dinner as well.

This put us on an Angels of Light kick (since we first came to know Akron/Family when they played for Angels of Light a few years ago)...which ended up being three of their CDs and carried us through most of our cooking. Up first, the newest release (my personal fave) We are Him, then Sing Other People, and finally How I Loved You, a sweet, tender album dedicated to Michael Gira's parents. Their sounds is mellow and newer to me, although Blake has been a long time fan.

By our last stretch of vegetable chopping and stuffing assembly, i was dying to hear the Sufjan Stevens that my friend Hedy had just burned for me. it has blown my mind in the few days i have owned it--his sound is versatile, playful, and downright lovely. Sometime a little Beatles, a little Jellyfish, and a tad Charlie and the Chocolate Factory--but all moving and engaging. The first song sent me into tears immediately--which alerted me to my obvious rise in pregnancy hormones today--and i had to pass the wooden spoon for stirring veggie to Blake, and have a moment in front of the stereo. There i envisioned myself in labor listening to the song and leaning against the cedar a-frame walls.

Dinner turned out perfectly--very traditional menu only i skipped the green beans. Our only tragedies were the exploding roasted chesnuts (sounded like World War 3 on our oven, and another exploded like a steamy, nutty granade on it's way outside) and Blake cracking his knee cap on the cabinets like two minutes before dinner being served. He iced it quickly and sat down to the feast like a champ. We made way too much food. If there is such thing. I love stuffing and i would eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. and dessert.

At first I was sad that no family would be able to make it for today. Blake was looking forward to it, saying "hey we have a chance to cook all day"....dude, i cook everyday--thanksgivng to me is getting to cook AND have extended family milling about. But after the day we had I am grateful for it--gave us a chance to connect and revel in the beauty of our family, our home, music, and our love....without the extra chaos.

Wishing everyone the same great feeling.....

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

my thanksgiving tip

i learned this two years ago and i use it all the time. well, every time i make gravy from pan drippings at least....

when making gravy from the drippings/juices from the a large ziploc baggy inside a large pyrex measuring cup (use it like a trash liner ya know?)--pour the juices into the bag through a sieve and let it sit so the fat can rise. once it has (about 10 minutes), carefully pick up the plastic bag and hold it over the pyrex. take a pair of scissors and snip one corner of the bag (taking care not to cut it all the way off and have it land in the cup.) let the juices drain into the pyrex....stopping as you get to the fat. (i usually do this near the sink and swoop the bag over to that when the fat approaches.) now you've got your fatless drippings!

What you want to know more?

Okay, add enough chicken stock to your dripping to make 3 cups. In a pan, heat some olive oil over medium-high, and saute 1/3 cup chopped shallots for about a minute. Then add 1 cup of sherry and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes while it reduces by half. Stir in 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh sage, and cook for another minute. Add those reserved dripping now and bring to a boil again. in a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of flour (i use tapioca flour so it's gluten-free but all-purpose would do) and 1/4 cup of water--whisk it reeeeal nice. Add this to your boiling mixture. Cook for a few minutes while it thickens, stirring constantly, then salt and pepper to taste (maybe 1/4 tsp of each?) Very basic, but tasty. I effing love thanksgiving dinner.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

happy birthday to me.

i had a splendid day. after a breakfast of bacon and eggs and toast and a quick stop by Generations on Hawthorne where I scored a black maternity swimsuit on clearance, the oh-so awesome Amy met us at PAM (Portland Art Museum) and snapped some pics of us at the sculpture garden as a gift. See her flickr account here--she's seriously talented. I didn't show Blake the cute one of us, I will surprise him with it on our anniversary--double bonus!

It was COLD so we when we went in checked out the Chuck Close exhibit which focus on his processes and incredible color studies and such. He's a freakin' genuis too. When you look at his pieces closely, you see tiny colorful squares but form far away low-and-behold, beautiful portraits. My fave thing to do after looking around PAM is hit the cafe for a soup and salad so we did. Awesome black bean soup today.

i was already pooped--as was B who has a snotty cold. So after opening some sweet gifts (lots of new music and some new bling for my daith piercings-- (only mine have diamond and opal flowers in them now that puts that photo to shame)) I took a long bath and read some magazines which my mom send for me. She is so cute--she left sweet little notes inside them said "You're a good mom!" and "You're the best!" By then it was almost time for dinner so we--meaning me and Mayan and Isadore--quickly whipped up some brownies that were allergy-friendly for us all (great with substituting half the oil with apple sauce and adding walnuts!) and set them aside to head to La Calaca Comelona. It was downright fantastic and Mayan (and me!) was SO excited to eat there. I had the enchiladas which were completely covered in cabbage and roasted potatoes and carrots--with the perfect amount of spice. Blake is now in love with the grilled beef, bacon, mushrooms and tomato with tortillas. Mayan was all excited about the fried plantains but ended up nixing them b/c f the garlic--cha! The horchata was an exceptionally fine treat.

Now I am about to watch I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry b/c in my world nothing is better than stupid comedy especially if it involves Adam Sandler. And a pile of brownies.


Monday, November 19, 2007

food diary 11-19-07, photobooth saves me again

tomorrow i will be 27. not a fancy number, but still comfortably in my 20's.

breakfast--scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, toast, pear, oj, water

snack--.....don't remember...

lunch--bowl of lentil and lamb stew (lamb, lentils, onion, leeks, carrots, celery), water

snack--brownie, water, satsuma orange

dinner--cheeseburger with lettece and onion on whole wheat bun, garlic fries, water

got silly with the girls tonight on photobucket:

Sunday, November 18, 2007

big love

taking a break from the food diary. i ate great today. i have more important things to say.

the decision to leave Bend was hard for me because i was very comfortable, with my home, my neighborhood, my routine, and most importantly my community. but when i made the big leap and found the right house, i took no time looking to find the right community in portland. i got on discussion boards and found the Portland tribe--a very active thread of PDX moms that was "on the same page"--these ladies knew where to buy organic, who the best naturopaths were, who could lay Marmoleum, and where you could nurse a toddler without getting the stink eye. And they were funny, and humble, and really supportive of each other. Somebody had a bad day and three others would offer to drop off dinner (somebody had a baby, and there would be 20 meals lined up), someone would be in labor and attempting a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesearean) and candles would light up all over pdx, or a mama would have an argument with their partner or have a "bad parenting day" and the empathy would pour out across the internet. it was no wonder i got hooked so fast. but there were so many mamas and so many daily posts it was at first pretty overwhelming.

with Breana is was love at first PM (private message)--she was a mama with 2 kids and one baby almost there, and when i mentioned we may have to move to portland and find a temporary living situation while our house got finished, she suggested we move into the other half of her duplex that she owned--and we could have a little Mothering Commune! it didn't work out that way, but suddenly i noticed her a lot more on the thread--she was sooo sweet and positive, never missed a beat with reply to others, offering up so much genuine empathy, and best of all she ALWAYS laughed at my jokes *throb.* we quickly developed a online repoire and friendship, that was so obvious to us and everyone else. as soon as we moved to Portland, it wasn't three days before i went over to her house to do laundry. we had just as much a connection in person as online...she asks lots of questions, and laughs a lot and like she has said to me before we both spend time listening to each other. we moved here in april and now it's november. people that meet us think we've been friends for years--if they don't think we're sisters! the online mothers call us "the lovahs" and since Blake is my "B" and Breana begins with a B, i have no dubbed them my "He-B" and "She-B." we text, we call, we chat on the thread, we chat privately, we instant message, we blog about each other, and we see each other numerous times a week. when the neighbor across the street said he was selling his house, i called Breana and said "do you want to live across the street??" they are buying the house this spring. i've NEVER known someone that is so easy to know.

one night Blake was out of town with Mayan, and Isadore and I had a suprise birthday party to attend with Breana and her family. it was at a hotel where the men would stay in the room and and watch the kids while the women went out to dinner--Rich, Breana's husband was in charge of watching Isadore since Blake was not with us. one of the dads, Jamie, had never met any of the mdc moms yet and his wife Rebekah had explained "well, they are pretty alternative..." (meaning tattoos and non-mainstream parenting, i suppose.) but what Jaime saw that night was Rich and Breana and me and our gaggle of children and thought we were really alternative--that night he said to Rebekah on the way home "wow, so they are, like, BOTH with Rich..." and Rebekah couldn't waited to spill the hilarious misunderstanding to us. somehow the term "Rich's Bitches" was coined and it has been on ongoing joke...more solidified by the fact that most of the times we go out or get our photo taken it IS the group of us (Blake stays home for many social functions and Rich is usually there to help Breana wrangle her two small children) or Blake is the one with the camera. we really do seem like one polyamorous family! for example:

*photo taken by Blake

there is me as "second wife" handling the older children while they wear the younger ones. we all fans of the show Big Love--so it was so appropriate that tonight my She-B gifted me with a very cool, to-be-treasured forever book of our adventures together so far called "Big Love." She got together every photo of us (with some help from He-B) and made it in the iPhoto program (just like the cookbooks you made, Naomi)--there are pages dedicated to just us, to Blake, to the kids and finally the last page is each of our families beside our houses (our current home and their home-to-be.) every time i look through it (probably five times already since i got it tonight) i get a big, stupid grin on my face. i love it.

my She-B organized a dinner party for me tonight at my favorite sushi restaurant down the road, the Takahashi, to help celebrate my 27th birthday a little early. Let me say, while i don't think that "27" is a particularly special number, the ladies that came tonight MADE it special. Seriously, how did i ever doubt that i would find such coolness in a new place? These Mamas are the coolest! My cheeks hurt from the laughter and they all have such adorable uniqueness, it just makes me feel all warm and incredibly grateful to know them all. Thank you Breana, Amy, Korin, Joi, Danielle, Rebekah, and Savannah--for not just your sweet gifts but really for your stories, your smiles, and your company.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

food diary 11-17-07

Ack! *insert witty blog post here*

Blake has been giving me some subtle crap for always being *disconnected* in the evenings, glued to the laptop, clicking away on my Mothering thread....and it's true. By the time I get to the blog, I am feeling rushed and want to close up so I can spend some computer-less time with my hubby. Is there a NaBloPoMo support group for spouses of bloggers? Lol.....

This is exactly what I look like when I blog:

Breakfast--2 pancakes with peanut butter, bacon, oj and green tea


Snack--carrot and cucumber sticks with yogurt dip

Lunch--mixed green salad with chicken, sharp cheddar, grated carrots, and balsamic v-grette (ha ha like that new spelling?)

Early dinner--small burger with cheese and greens (totally boring and sad)

Cake Party--all sort of delectable sweets!

Snack--chips, more tea

VERY excited about the sushi dinner my friends are having for me tomorrow as an early b-day celebration. Bring on the lovely faces and the spicy tuna rolls!

Friday, November 16, 2007

food diary 11-16-07, belly pic

We bought vegetables today! This is very good news...I was feeling awful without a big green salad on hand...

Breakfast--the most perfect and basic breakfast: bacon, eggs over medium, toast, oj, water--perfection

After a surprise visit from the mother-in-law (!!!)..

Snack: pregnancy tea, crackers, pear, cheese

Lunch: lamb patties on pita with feta and cucumber yogurt sauce (really really yummy)

Snack: more tea i think

Dinner: (here come the veggies!) chicken sauteed with lime and garlic on corn tortillas with refried black beans, sour cream and avocado, brown rice, salad with baby greens, grated carrots and zucchini with a lime and oregano vinagarette, water

Still depending on Photobooth for belly pics--here is one by special request!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

food diary 11-15-07

feeling a little better today--the day started off really yucky and i got kind of worried but now i have a lot of energy back and am not nauseated.but it was probaly my worst eating day since i started the diary. we are out of leafy greens and i am very sad about that, and no money until monday. seinfeld starts soon and i want to read some of my blogs of love so..

breakfast--this is very sad, i sat down to eat what sounded really good then it looked terrible, so i only ate half of the following: fried potatoes (you know things are off when potatoes don't sound good), scrambled eggs with broccoli, toast, small glass of oj

snack--tea, didn't really get hungry so i made myself eat lunch soon after.....

lunch--grilled ham and cheese, water, juice squeeze

snack--cashews, water

dinner--brown rice, lamb patties on pita bread with cucumber yogurt sauce and feta, few orange slices, water

it's looking like i will be eating...some crackers with cheese and salami, maybe some chocolate later. i want salad--boo-hoo!!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

food diary 11-14-07 and maybe a little whining...

all-in-all, i love being pregnant. it's a very special time--a time to marvel at the female body and it's capabilities, a time of introspection, tender vulnerability and empowerment, a time to have sex without having to worry about birth control!

my last two pregnancies were classic, i guess you could say--very sick in the first trimester (all-nausea, tiredness), sexy and fun in the second, and fertile goddess-like in the third (but with some leg cramps and heartburn.) most of the later symptoms were things that could be treated naturally or with some care, and were all just a part of the glory of carrying a child. i am never one to bitch and moan and say "get this THING out of me!" that "thing" is your child and everyday you live together as intimately as two human being could ever be--your breath is their breath, your food is their food, your life is their life--pretty cool really!

so based on my past i should be in my "golden trimester"--round belly, healthy glow, feeling energetic and frisky. well, from about 12 weeks to a few days ago, i was reveling in my 2nd tri glory....but then i regressed! i feel as bad as i did on week 9...sour stomach, bad taste in my mouth, and just sluggish and tired! its the nausea that bothers me the most. luckily, i am not puking during the day, just a nice food-less session in the morning to clear out the stomach acid and mucus from the night (which i am fiiiiine with) and i'm also thankful that i am eating. i have these windows of hunger where food sounds great, so i eat..then after 5 minutes my stomach starts to turn...i gag but keep my food down, then i just spend the next few hours (until i get hungry again) feeling like...poop. so whats up that? i know it's hormonal, and there is nothing i can do. i guess i am just feeling a little gyped.

at the same time i am feeling humbled because i always kind of judged those women that complained about all-pregnancy nausea, that maybe they just weren't taking very good care of themselves, eating the right foods, or moving enough...or that they were just plain sour, pregnancy-is-a-pain types. i feel like i am doing everything "right" and still that is the way is this time around for me (eating balanced meals and indulging cravings, exercising regularly, drink fluids, getting chiro.) i will accept it. i will not complain (much.) i will still try to enjoy the good stuff as best i can. 'cause, you know, i am growing a BABY. and that is just too cool.

breakfast--pancakes with pb and syrup, bacon, oj

snack--tea (i woke up reeeally late)

lunch--nachos with cheese, beef, avocado, sour cream

snack--yogurt with raspberries, water

dinner--sauteed chicken livers, steamed broccoli, baked potatoes, glass of raw milk

i'll eat an apple later.....who knows what else...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

food diary 11-13-07

i am not sure how long i can survive without a camera. it's pathetic. we can afford one until our property sale closes just AFTER the holidays. no way, man. not cool.

the only upside is that since i usually am the one losing things, and blake was the one that lost the camera, he can no longer roll eyes, get annoyed, or otherwise give me crap. he IS human afterall! i always had my suspicions...

let do this, House is on:

breakfast--scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and cream cheese, toast, oj, pear slices and raspberries

snack--small plate of nachos: corn chips, cheese, sour cream, HOT salsa, water

(hike with Breana on Powell Butte)

lunch--salad with tomatoes, cuc, feta, garlic vinagerette (i am spelling that wrong? b/c spell check keeps giving me hell...); fries and half a strawberry shake from burgerville (all Breana's fault by the way!)

snack--satsuma mandarin (yay--they are in season!!)

dinner--leftover spag and meatballs, more salad! with zuc, carrots, was really good.

just now--two peanut butter cookies

is this getting boring yet? at this point, knowing i am going to have to write this down is helping me eat more balanced, but i know leftover spaghetti and scrambled eggs with toast AGAIN is not, like, a to-die-for read.

but thanks for hanging around anyway:-)

Monday, November 12, 2007

food diary 11-12-07

must. have. spaghetti and meatballs.

breakfast--smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, two pieces of toast, oj

after that we were officially out of food. shopping we went. had some samples along the way...cheese, taters, satsumas...

lunch--beef stew with root veggies

snack--preg tea, cashews

dinner--(yet to be eaten) spag and meatballs, salad (mixed greens, carrots, purple cabbage, cuc, vinagrette)

okay. i just cried at a fred meyer commercial. about using their reusable, collapsible grocery bags. that's the hormones talkin'.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

food diary 11-11-07, kitten story

sunday breakfast--more pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, oj (simple and wonderful)

snack--oops long hot bath instead (*see additional story below)

lunch--little pile of lasag (it all gone now), big pile of sauteed chard, toast, water

snack--ruined my dinner at a potluck eating cashews, salmon dip (salmon and cream cheese), assorted crackers and bread, lentil and squash salad with feta...and a hot chai!

dinner--small bowl of beef stew with root veggies

now that it's almost 10pm...i am very hungry.

ETA--snack--apple, pregnancy tea, crackers with smoked salmon and cream cheese, dark chocolate with almonds. told you i was hungry.

*while i was in the bath, the kitten came to check things out...he seemed very cautious but sure-footed--found a way to get a little drink of bath water (ew.) later i got out to dry off, didn't drain the bath all the way b/c i though the girls would want to get in. while i was drying off, i heard it: SPLASH! followed by many more short, frantic splashes. Poor kitty! i rushed in to get him out, and there he was pathetically and desperately "cat paddling" his way out of the tub. i assisted his escape and wanted to dry him off but he was GONE, totally embarrassed and licking his drenched fur under the bed not wanting any human assistance. i checked on him a few moment later and he was already gone....i had to follow the trail of water downstairs to the dining room where he then let me towel him dry. it was sad and hysterical at the same time...and i am pretty sure he learned his lesson and is a full-on hydrophobe now. wish i had a picture....

Saturday, November 10, 2007

food diary 11-10-07

i'm tired....i better write this before i forget what i ate today....

breakfast......shoot. what did i eat?


breakfast--big leftover pancake with peanut butter, three pieces of bacon, oj, water

snack--pear, cheese slices

lunch--mixed greens with chicken, tomatoes, feta with sherry vinagrette, water

snack--ANOTHER pancake with pb and syrup...they are sooooo goooood, milk

dinner--leftover meat and veggie lasagna, seeded baguette, cranberry juice

oops, forgot to drink my tea today...might have one cup left i'll drink before bed......zzzzzzzzz

Friday, November 9, 2007

food diary 11-9-07

breakfast--scrambled eggs with zucchini and cheese, few pieces of bacon, sprouted grain toast with raw butter, oj

snack--yogurt with fresh raspberries and maple syrup (again! i know but i ate all the raspberries this, you know...that's the end of that), pregnancy tea*

lunch--(ate late and had a HUGE hankering that had to be satisfied) tall stack of buttermilk pancakes with peanut butter and syrup...and it was sooooooo goooooood, more oj, water

dinner--homemade meat and veggie lasagna (beef, italian sausage, broc, carrots, zuc, lots of garlic, ricotta, mozzarella, tomato sauce); salad with mixed greens, radish, apple, almonds, and sherry vinagrette.

i am sure i will be hitting more of that lasag later tonight...oh, yeah!

*I made my first infusion of pregnancy tea, filled a quart jar with the dried herbs and can now make a quart a day easily to drink. the tea is:

2 parts red raspberry leaf
2 parts nettles1 part oat straw
1/2 part rose hips
1/4 part red clover
1/4 part spearmint

(I based this variation from the book The Natural Pregnancy Book by Aviva Jill Romm)

Chin Skin

my brother got married in september and i was just rolling through the photos from my camera. i noticed something that made me chuckle--the abundance of chins and jowls. the explanation: this is what people look like from a five-year-old's perspective!

*all photos by Mayan Grace

the groom (uncle Meshem)

auntie Na Na

uncle Noah and great-g-pa Jackson

grandma was smart--she got down to minimize the chin shot

on the dance floor: sister and uncle Noah

groomsmen: papa and cousin Nick

caught unawares: grandma and grandpa

award for jowl-iest shot of the night:

Thursday, November 8, 2007

can't you guess?

Breakfast--yogurt with fresh raspberries and maple syrup, scrambled eggs, last half of leftover potato pancake (a little morning after quickie), water

Snack--apples, cheese, salami (few slices of each), cup of tea

Lunch--one perfect slice of sausage and roasted potato pizza from Pizzicato (thank you, B!!!), big ol' arugala pear salad with walnuts and blue cheese

Snack--no snack, i fell asleep

Dinner--lamb chop, risotto with peas, water, cranberry juice

So, we had our second prenatal visit with the "wives" today...Blake got to hear the heartbeat for the first time and also got very chatty and did some bonding with the ladies (it's a team of two plus their apprentice). Baby (which should be about the size of an avocado) sounds great, still very deep in my body and kicked then floated away from the doppler. Heehee....

I have been making a big effort to be really good to myself but not be nuts (that isn't my style anyway)--yoga once or twice a week, walking one to two miles a few times a week, staying very hydrated, napping when the urge of the great things about pregnancy for me is that extra nudge to be good to yourself. That is not to say I don't treat myself--in fact, the juxtaposition is that it also gives you the excuse to splurge a bit. Like the pound of fries I ate at Hawthorne Fish House the other day with Breana (that is to say I went with her but I didn't share one single fry, I shamelessly downed to whole pound) and snagging the uneaten potato cakes from my friends plates last night. Do we see a theme developing here? The current joke is this baby will be named "Tater." Fried potatoes in any form rule.

Blake misplaced the camera on his trip to Bend last weekend--so here is the weekly belly shot taken by PhotoBooth:

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

So later than evening.....

Food diary cont.
(....but keep reading for something juicy;-)

Snack--tea, half apple

Dinner--potato pancakes, kraut, one beer sausage and weiss wurst.....oh my gooooooood it was gooooooood. and mustard. and a half of a pilsner (with two glasses of water over two hours)

We threw a surprise dinner for a friend at the Berlin Inn. I just want to give a little shout out to German food: German food, you rocked my world tonight. Once I saw your crisped-to-perfection, golden potato pancake exterior I knew that although it was Joi's birthday, this night was about YOU and ME. I like how you started me off slow with the mild, herbed veal Weiss wurst...but then you kicked it up a notch and got fiesty with the beer wurst--lubed up with some smooth as silk mustard. All the while whispering sweet kraut nothings into my...mouth.

Oh, yes we will see each other again. Would I seem to eager if I called you tomorrow.....? Maybe I could just stop by....

Worthy of it's own post

I just saw this on my BFF's blog and had to give it some due.

20 things that are more dangerous to children than lead in Mattel toys.


Anyone want to know what I ate so far today? Well, I am going to tell you anyway...

Breakfast--scrambled eggs with turkey and zucchini, sprouted grain toast because it rules the universe (esp with our raw butter), orange juice

Snack--plain yogurt with raspberries and maple syrup

Lunch--big ol' bowl of pea soup, small slices of seeded baguette, juice squeeze

Okay, I should go drink some water.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The goal... blog everyday this month. Who's idea was this? These people: NaBloPoMo

BUT I didn't sign up until today, the SIXTH day of the month. This makes me feel...incomplete...kinda dirty.....I should just get over and start writing I suppose.

What will I bore you dear readers with everyday? Depends....on days where there is something *worth* blogging about, the usual..adorable pictures of my adorable family. But if I don't have a plan for the other days, the *average* days then I will fail. So, in that case, I will blog about something I have been wanting to write down everyday anyway......a food diary. Why? 'Cause I'm gestating! I am confident that I eat a pretty healthy, well-rounded diet, but I cannot be trusted without some actual record. And I'd really like to know if I am measuring up--60 to 100 grams of protein a day, plenty of leafy greens...that kind of stuff. Especially since I am throwing out so many lame "rules" that I followed on my previous pregnancies--I am not taking prenatals (I don't feel they are assimilated the same as whole foods anyway), I am eating RAW sushi and RAW dairy (gasp!), and also partaking in a 1/2 glass of beer or wine here and there (actually I have only done this once so far but I plan on doing it again soon!)

So far today I've eaten:

Breakfast--scrambled eggs with turkey, sprouted grain toast, glass of water (usually I have fruit too but I had places to go and spaced it)

Snack--Spicy Thai chips! and of course WATER

Lunch--had a hankering for a tuna melt (tuna had red onion and grated carrots) on sprouted grain bread, a decaf chai latte

Snack--cheddar and apple slices, water

Dinner--split peas soup with carrots, hamburger patty with cheese and salsa.

Shoulda had more: fruit, leafy greens